Album Review: Evil Scarecrow – “Chapter IV: Antartarctica”
It really is mind-boggling to see how quickly Evil Scarecrow have gone supernova in the last couple of years since their much acclaimed third album Galactic Hunt (Pure Rawk’s 2014 album of the year in case you’ve forgotten), climbing from playing tiny clubs to headlining venues like the Electric Ballroom and Nottingham Rock City. And despite their less-than-serious tone a lot of the time, it’s thoroughly deserved for such a hard-working band.
Of course, the flip side of this coin is that with added reputation comes added expectation, and no doubt there’ll be a few new converts to the cause who are awaiting this album eagerly. And Antarctarctica contains exactly the right mix of killer metal riffs and daft humour that will keep fans old and new happy. You can sort of guess it from the press release where frontman Dr Pain states “We really wanted to create a record that connects with the world we live in today. I think everyone can relate to the endeavours of a sandal-clad monk bravely exploring a sub-antarctic wasteland, on an unknown quest, enduring the extreme elements and battling his inner demons…” Well, quite.
Indeed, there is absolutely no sign of Evil Scarecrow getting even remotely sensible on this album and thank feck for that, right from the moment they let loose with a shout of “MARTIAN SOLO!” on current single Red Riding Hood which is about, well, Martians invading earth disguised as the granny from the titular fairy tale. Obviously. Elsewhere, Hurricanado sees them following up the noble tradition of Robotron and Crabulon with what must surely be a new metal dancefloor anthem in waiting. There’s also a song about a gang of cosmic goth moths (Cosmos Moth Goth Gang funnily enough) and a five minute multi-part epic about a group of Satanists whose attempt to summon the Devil goes wrong and ends up summoning a giant two-headed turnip monster instead (that’ll be Gus, Zag And The Turnip King).
The key though is that underneath the less than sensible exterior, Evil Scarecrow are actually a pretty accomplished and tight bunch of musicians, and all ten of the tracks on Chapter IV pack a hell of a punch with some impressively dextrous riffs (just listen to The Magician and Polterghost for proof) and big shoutalong tunes. Just as weird and wonderful as ever, this is definitely an album well worth checking out.
As utterly ridiculous yet addictive as ever, "Chapter IV: Antarctica" is everything we've come to expect from Evil Scarecrow, with a brilliantly warped sense of humour colliding with some killer tunes and riffs to make a damn good effort. Don't be surprised if you see this one up there in our end of year list again this year...